The Project Implementation Team consisted of:
Under the direct supervision of the Head of Department, the Senior FSC Support Officer, and in close coordination with the FSC Project Officer, the team was in charge of the day-to-day implementation of activities and steered the project towards successful completion of its results.
The project activities were coordinated at a national level and with the continuous support of the host country's institutions. Rather than using implementing partners or formalized partnerships with other organizations, regular coordination and communication were maintained with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Border Police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of North Macedonia to the OSCE in Vienna which allowed for the smooth completion of the project.
The specific project objective is to reduce the risk of SALW proliferation by increasing the security of the existing stockpiles of SALW and ammunition, managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The project came as a response to the host country's request for assistance addressed to the OSCE participating states. The urgent need to implement such measures stems from one incident SALW and ammunition stocks theft at the Border Police Stations armories, following a violent attack and breach in the premises.
In line with the Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Skopje - promoting the maintenance of peace, stability, and security - the project feeds into the Public Safety and Community Outreach Department's Unified Budget Proposal. It complements the department's objective, which is to support the Ministry of Internal Affairs in developing a professional police service according to democratic policing principles, and international human rights standards.
The outcome of this project was to support the reduction of the Risk for Proliferation of Weapons and Ammunition in the Republic of North Macedonia, therefore adding to the overall safety and security of the host country.
Ultimately, the implementation of the first SALW/SCA OSCE’s project in the HC will contribute to several outcomes:
Further implementation of the host country's international commitments in the politico-military field to guarantee the security of its SALW/CA stockpiles
Increased confidence and security-building in South-Eastern Europe by preventing SALW/CA proliferation and reducing the possibility that MoIA armories could become a source of supply to terrorist networks
Increased safety and security for the general public
The Project successfully implemented the following activities:
Activity 1.1 Establishment of a Project Implementation Team
Activity 1.2 Development of tender documentation for security upgrades
Sub-activity 1.2.1 Developing construction design for BPS armories
Sub-activity 1.2.2 Conducting a Request for Proposals for construction services
Sub-activity 1.2.3 Preparations for construction design
Activity 1.3 Improving security conditions at the armories in 15 Border Police Stations and one (1) RCBA
Sub-activity 1.3.1 Development of open competitive bidding documentation for implementation of the security measures, as specified in the construction designs
Sub-activity 1.3.2: Conducting tenders
Sub-activity 1.3.3: Selection of contractors
Sub-activity 1.3.4: Implementation of security improvements at the armories of the MoIA
Sub-activity 1.3.5: Technical supervision
Sub-activity 1.3.6: Monitoring
The risk management plan envisaged several risks that might impede the project's finalization. During the implementation period, the Project Implementation Team closely monitored the potential risk and successfully overcame all challenges, including numerous obstacles posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSCE FSC adopted a decision for holding a meeting in Vienna (14-15 July 2015) to review the implementation of the OSCE assistance projects on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). The meeting was of particular interest to government officials from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs dealing with SALW stockpile management and security/destruction projects. The chronological aspect of the background events includes:
The OSCE Mission to Skopje in coordination with the respective representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the period 26.02.2016-11.03.2016 conducted a needs assessment in the field, determined several areas for improvement regarding service weapon storage in the H/C, more precisely on the following:
Previous support in the country with regards to SALW addressed capacity building for the Ministry of Internal Affairs staff responsible for SALW management through awareness-raising activities, supported by the OSCE Mission to Skopje. The focus was on security regulations, security plans, inventory management, risk assessment, access control, etc. The main outcomes from that phase were the identification of areas for future training and expanding the training country-wide. In addition to the training courses, the physical security of the main SALW warehouse complex of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been increased with the support of the UNDP and EU, in line with the UN standards.
Taking into consideration one serious incident which happened in the premises of a remote Police Station in April 2015, where an armed group had forcefully entered a Police Station, disarmed the staff on duty, and stole the weapons from the storage, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has identified as the main priority the improvement of the SALW security. The OSCE undertook extensive preliminary assessment and situation analysis and visited the Regional Centre for Border Affairs. The OSCE identified a number of challenges related to the security of SALW in these stations, including the need to improve the physical security of the existing stockpiles, to enhance the record-keeping procedures, to increase the capacity of the personnel for management of service and seized SALW, and to increase the capability of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to prevent the proliferation of SALW from its stockpiles.